3D printed steel pedestrian bridge

http://3dprint.com/72682/amsterdam-3d-printed-bridge/

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3D Printed Steel Pedestrian Bridge Will Soon Span an Amsterdam Canal

The oldest of Amsterdam’s approximately 1,280 bridges in use dates back to 1648. The city is famous for its beautiful canals and waterways, and Dutch engineers have long made their names in constructing ways around the “Venice of the North.” Tourists are encouraged to visit one particular bridge on the Herengracht canal, from which they can see 15 bridges in one view. In addition to bridges, the Netherlands has been gaining fame across the board for its reputation in the global 3D printing arena.

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Now, the two are being brought together in an amazing feat of engineering prowess asHeijmans, MX3D, and Joris Laarman Lab collaborate on a first-of-its-kind project: a 3D printed steel pedestrian bridge that will span one of Amsterdam’s historic canals.

“We came to the conclusion that a bridge over the old canals of Amsterdam would be a fantastic metaphor for connecting the technology of the future with the city’s historic past, in a way which would reveal the best aspects of both worlds,” said Joris Laarman, who is designing the bridge. “I strongly believe in the future of digital manufacturing and local production – it’s a ‘new form of craftsmanship’. This bridge can show how 3D printing has finally entered the world of large-scale functional objects and sustainable materials, while enabling unrivalled freedom of design.”

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The ambitious project centers on startupMX3D’s technology, which uses 6-axis robotic machines to create structures from steel literally in mid-air. Plans for building the bridge involve using two (or more) of these machines to effectively begin construction on either bank of the canal and build toward one another, meeting in the middle.

While plans for the bridge’s location have not yet been made public, MX3D will, along with the city of Amsterdam, soon make this announcement. A visitor center will also be open to the public with extensive information available, starting in September.

“What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘Printing Outside the Box’ principle,” said MX3D CTO Tim Geurtjens. “By printing with 6-axis industrial robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique.”

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For its part, Heijmans says, it will “contribute its knowledge of and experience in construction and technology to print the bridge.” Among other supporters in this project are Autodesk, whose technology Laarman has been using in the design process, as well as sponsors including ABB, Air Liquide, Delcam, Lenovo, and Within, and public partners Amsterdam City Council, AMS, and TU Delft.

Have you heard of other large-scale, usable construction projects going up around the world that rely on 3D printing technology? Let us know about them in the 3D Printed Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 11, 2015

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Eco-friendly bicycle

A Dutch Woodworker Has Created an Eco-Friendly Bicycle Created Entirely Out of Aluminium and Wood

http://3dprint.com/50131/bike-from-wood-and-3d-print/

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Oh, the joys of cycling — and of collecting bikes. If you know a bicycle enthusiast (or are one), you are probably aware they rarely just have one, and if said person lives in a city they usually have several bikes meant for every cycling scenario imaginable piled up in their living room, kitchen, or bedroom for safekeeping. Moving them or paring down the collection is simply not a thought that has crossed their minds whatsoever as they might need a commuter, a mountain bike, a hybrid, or a more customized bike that’s lighter in weight for going greater distances.

If you live with someone who is encroaching on your space with bikes, the advent of 3D printing might be even greater cause for you to worry if they are handy and technically savvy. The bikes could begin multiplying, as they 3D print out parts in delight, with Amsterdam designer Paul Timmer as the perfect role model.

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Timmer has recently designed and built a bicycle completely out of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts. Timmer, obviously not just a woodworker and cyclist, but also a great artist, has constructed a streamlined design with the innovative technology of 3D printing and the superior quality of solid ash.

Featuring an extremely eco-friendly design — not to mention all recyclable — with the aluminum parts and solid ash wood, the bike weighs in at a mere 11 kilograms, which is equal to 24 lbs or so. This makes a normally constructed bike seem pretty clunky in contrast to Timmer’s sleek design, which is meant as an all-terrain means of transportation.

While not the only creatively constructed wooden bike on the market for sure, Timmer’s is the only one (that we know of so far) that employs 3D printed aluminum parts as a means of stability and added strength.

“The main advantage of the wooden frame is the exceptional comfort. All vibrations, due to bumps in the road, are instantly absorbed,” said Timmer. “Wood is the best construction material available. This bike can be as strong as a steel one, but it has to be designed better than a steel one.”

Why does someone stray off the beaten path so far with these types of materials for a bike? Timmer wanted a top-of-the-line ride and he just so happened not only to know how to build one but also how to create custom 3D designs for everything on the bike that wasn’t wood, and he had the resources to 3D print them.

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Using ‘forks’ to form a triangle from the handlebar area down to the mechanics of the 3D printed chain, which is made out of a clean belt drive, keeps the wood grain as pristine as possible, and increases durability. As Timmer states on his website, the bike “becomes strong enough by extraordinary attention to detail.”

With 3D design, Timmer was afforded the freedom to tweak and refine parts and 3D print them out as needed rather than having to order something or rely on someone else to make it. That’s the beauty of 3D design and 3D printing as we know it. And while this design is currently the only one of its kind, Timmer has plans to produce them for other biking — and 3D printing — enthusiasts soon.

Is this a bike that interests you for your cycling needs? How do you think the combination of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts can be more helpful? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Bicycle with Wood forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | MARCH 11, 2015